Last year's Game 4 against Pittsburgh didn't really matter. The Flyers were down 3-0, and while winning it and avoiding the sweep was nice, it still only gave them a (generous) 13% chance of taking the series.
This year is totally different. A win tonight and it's a tie ballgame, a best-of-three for a spot in the second round. Flyers would have all the momentum, and the Penguins would be crying even more than usual.
And on the other side, a loss tonight would be fatal. As much as the Flyers "made it a series" by winning Game 3, they would completely unmake the series by losing tonight. It would be over. I'd say there was still hope, but I'd be lying.
So with all that in mind, here we go...
Why the Flyers Will Win:
- Because the Flyers are really, really good. Their depth is absolutely nuts, with any of around eight of them completely capable of having a multi-goal game tonight.
- The Flyers should have all the momentum tonight. They outplayed the Penguins in Game 3 and most of Game 2. The Flyers could be overconfident and had trouble stringing wins together down the stretch, but if there is any momentum it will be squarely with the orange team.
- As you should have read earlier, the Flyers are money in Game 4s. They've won five straight and eight of their last nine. I'm not sure if this means anything, but it's good all the same.
- I have no evidence for this, but I feel like the Flyers are going to get pretty favorable officiating tonight. They're really due.
- Because the Flyers have been completely incapable of containing Evgeni Malkin. He's leading the league with seven points in these playoffs. Seven points in three games.
- I didn't know which section to put this in, but once again I think this game is completely in Marc-Andre Fleury's small French Canadian hands. If he bounces back big from his Game 3 disappointment, it will spell trouble for the Flyers. If he doesn't, the Flyers win.
- Because the Penguins are getting more used to the Wach by now. If you think that the crowd was a big factor in Game 3, you gotta realize that it won't be as big a factor tonight. Add that to the fact that Flyer fans won't be given any free orange shirts (sorry), and life should be a little easier for the Pens.
Puck drops at 7, on Versus, CBC, CSN Philadelphia, and FSN Pittsburgh.
Do it to it, boys.